03 Sep

tutorial: chainless starting double crochet (csdc)

Chainless starting double crochet (csdc) - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Usually, when beginning a new row or round in a crochet project, we start with a chain 2 or chain 3 to replace the first double crochet (dc) stitch. However, a chain of stitches is much skinnier than a regular double crochet, which makes it quite visible in the resulting piece. Also, it can be hard to tension the chain just so that it exactly matches the height of the dc stitches. This can make the edge of the piece (when worked flat) less neat than desired. Fortunately, there is a solution for this: the chainless starting double crochet stitch or csdc for short.

Chainless starting double crochet (csdc) - a tutorial by La Visch DesignsThis is the perfect way to make a starting stitch that more closely resembles both the height and thickness of a regular dc stitch. Please note though, that this method is best suited for continuing in the same color yarn. When changing the yarn color, using a standing double crochet stitch instead is advised. For this, I will also make a tutorial soon!

In this post, I will show you how to work the chainless starting double crochet stitch when worked flat. Notes on how to do this when working in the round can be found below the step by step instructions.

How to work a chainless starting double crochet stitch step by step

1. To start the csdc stitch, pull up the loop on your hook approx. to the height of a regular double crochet stitch.

Chainless starting double crochet (csdc) - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Hold the elongated loop in place on your hook with your finger….

Chainless starting double crochet (csdc) - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. … and twist the hook counter clockwise down towards you, wrapping the lengthened loop around your hook. You now have the original loop around your hook as well as an extra double strand.

Chainless starting double crochet (csdc) - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Now we will continue making a double crochet as we would normally do. First, yarn over…

Chainless starting double crochet (csdc) - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. …. and pull it through the double strand on your hook. Treat it as the first 2 loops on the hook as you would while working a regular double crochet stitch.

Chainless starting double crochet (csdc) - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

6. Again yarn over…

Chainless starting double crochet (csdc) - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

7. …. And pull it through the remaining the 2 loops on the hook to complete the stitch.

Chainless starting double crochet (csdc) - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

And that’s it! Now you’re ready to continue your pattern in the other stitches of the row or round.

Chainless starting double crochet (csdc) - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Working a chainless starting double crochet stitch in the round

Using a csdc stitch when working in the round is basically the same as when working flat. The main difference is of course that in projects worked in the round, the last stitch has to be joined with the first one of the round by using a slip stitch (sl st).

This makes the process as follows:
1. Slip stitch in the top of the first stitch of the round.
2. Work the chainless starting double crochet stitch as described above.
3. Work the rest of the round.
4. Join in the round by working a slip stitch into the top of the csdc as you would with a regular dc stitch.

Other chainless starting stitches?

Not all projects are worked in double crochet of course. Fortunately, it’s really easy to also use this technique to replace the starting chains for taller stitches like the treble crochet stitch, double treble crochet stitch etc. The main thing to keep in mind is that you need
1. To pull up a loop in step 1 as described above to match the height of the intended stitch.
2. Adjust the number of wraps (step 3 as described in the csdc step by step instructions above) to match the number of “loops on the hook” with those from the intended stitch. Each wrap hereby represents 2 loops.

This technique lends itself less well for stitches shorter than the double crochet. But then, for those is the starting chain also less of a problem in looks.

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07 Aug

blocking an asymmetrical shawl

Blocking an asymmetrical shawl - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Don’t you just love those asymmetrical shawls that are knit on the bias? I know I do! They are just the perfect shape to wear as a scarf, but without the bulk on the tails that regular rectangular scarves usually have. I’ve been getting questions about how to block such a shawl though, so I thought to make a photo tutorial about it.

In this tutorial, I will be showing you how I blocked my Scuba shawl. Scuba has a lovely scalloped edge, that is realized purely by pulling the bottom edge into points during blocking.

Blocking an asymmetrical shawl - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

What is blocking?

Before we go into details, it’s good to get clear what I mean exactly with “blocking”. Blocking is nothing more than shaping your knit or crochet pieces when moist or wet. These can be finished items or components to be sewn together. By blocking them, you can not only even out stitches, but also bring the item to the intended dimensions. The latter of course within reason!

For a sweater or sweater components blocking usually is nothing more than washing the item(s) and patting them gently into shape. Lace shawls, on the other hand, benefit from a rather vigorous blocking by pinning it stretched out as much as possible. After the piece has dried, it will hold its shape until the next washing.

Please note, that not all fibers are suited for the magic of blocking. Only natural fibers like wool, alpaca, cotton etc. as well as some viscose fibers can be blocked.
On synthetics, like acrylic, the process of wet-blocking as described in this post has virtually no effect at all. Acrylics can be blocked (“killed”) by applying heat through steam blocking or ironing, but that’s an entirely different process.

Blocking an asymmetrical shawl - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Materials needed

Since the subject of this post is the blocking off a shawl, I go for a vigorous blocking using pins. I used the following materials:

  • Blocking mats, these are usually foam mats that hold pins well. Think for example of insulation mats, mats for yoga or play tiles for children.
  • Pins, I use regular pins, but other folks sometimes prefer stainless steel T pins.
  • Wool wash.
  • A towel large enough to comfortably hold your project.

How to block an asymmetrical shawl step by step

1. First I filled the sink with some lukewarm water and added a dash of wool wash. I made sure to let the shawl rest for about 10-15 minutes to make sure the wool was completely saturated with water.

Blocking an asymmetrical shawl - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Next, rinse the wool well. Don’t use cold water for this, as “shocking” warm wool like that may cause it to felt. If your yarn bleeds dye a bit, you can add a splash of vinegar to the rinse water to help fix it. After rinsing, gently squeeze excess water out of your project. Don’t wring it! This may damage the fibers, causing breakage.

Blocking an asymmetrical shawl - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. Spread out your towel and place the shawl on top of it.

Blocking an asymmetrical shawl - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Fold the second half of the towel over your shawl and roll it up like a sausage. Squeeze the roll well to transfer most of the wetness from the shawl to the towel. With bigger projects, I find it helps to actually stand a bit on it.

Blocking an asymmetrical shawl - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. Spread out your blocking mats to the size needed for your project. I prefer to do that in my work room because it can be closed off against “helping” cats.

Blocking an asymmetrical shawl - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

6. Spread out your shawl on the blocking mats in roughly the shape you want to block it in.

Blocking an asymmetrical shawl - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

7. Start by pinning the 2 outer corners. You can stretch the upper edge of the shawl out for this, but don’t stretch it to the max., we still need some slack in the fabric to accommodate stretching it out in other directions.

Blocking an asymmetrical shawl - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

8. Next, pin the entire upper edge of the shawl in a smooth curve, using approx. 1 pin every 2.5 cm (2 inches). You can, of course, pin the upper edge in a straight line, but I find a slightly curved edge sits better on the neck and shoulders.

Blocking an asymmetrical shawl - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

9. Now we pull down the bottom point and pin it to the mats. Again, don’t stretch it to the max. yet!

Blocking an asymmetrical shawl - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

10. Now pull every other point on the left side down and pin it in a curve. At this point, you can still keep some slack in the fabric of the shawl.

Blocking an asymmetrical shawl - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

11. Next, we move to the right side of the shawl and pull and pin it down somewhere in the middle.

Blocking an asymmetrical shawl - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

12. After this, we pin down other points of the edge of the shawl on the right side.

Blocking an asymmetrical shawl - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

13. Back to the left bottom edge! Now I’m pinning the points I skipped previously, adjusting the pins already there where needed, to achieve a smooth curve.

Blocking an asymmetrical shawl - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

14. Following this, I continue pinning the right edge again, making sure to keep the same distance between pins as on the left side. I placed the weight on the blocking mat to keep it from buckling under the tension I’m putting the shawl under.

Blocking an asymmetrical shawl - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

15. Finally, I go over the entire bottom edge again, making sure to pull it out to the max and keeping the edge in a smooth curve. I needed more weights to keep the mats in place!

Blocking an asymmetrical shawl - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

And there you have it: a beautifully blocked Scuba shawl!

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14 Jun

tutorial: knit rick rack rib in the round

Knit rick rack rib in the round - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

I’ve written it before in this tutorial on how to knit the rick rack rib flat: sometimes a less boring finishing of a project than plain old 2×2 rib is just what the doctor ordered. In this post, I’m going to show you how to knit rick rack rib in the round.

As with the flat worked version of this stitch, the characteristic zig-zag texture is obtained by the knitting the stitches in a different order than they appear on the needle. Rick rack rib worked in the round is knitted as a multiple of 3 stitches.  The main difference with the flat worked version is, of course, that there are no WS rows when working the round.

In short, the instructions for this stitch worked in the round consist of the following 2 rounds:

Round 1: *Purl 1, skip the first stitch, knit in the back loop of the second stitch (do not slip this stitch off the needle), knit into the front loop of the first stitch and now slip both knitted stitches of the needle; repeat from * to end of the round.

Round 2: *Purl 1, skip the first stitch, knit in the front loop of the second stitch (do not slip this stitch off the needle), knit into the front loop of the first stitch and now slip both knitted stitches from the needle; repeat from * to end of the round.

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 to the desired height.

How to knit rick rack rib in the round step by step

Round 1
1. Purl 1 stitch.

Rick rack rib in the round - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Skip the first stitch and insert your needle int the second stitch on the needle in the back loop.

Rick rack rib in the round - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. Wrap the yarn around the needle as usual…

Rick rack rib in the round - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. … and pull through to complete knitting this stitch. Do not slip this stitch off the left-hand needle just yet!

Rick rack rib in the round - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. Knit into the front loop of the first stitch that you skipped in step 2.

Rick rack rib in the round - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

6. Then slip both knitted stitches from the needle. Do you see how the 2 stitches combined slant to the left?

Rick rack rib in the round - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

7. Repeat steps 1 to 6 the end of the round.

Round 2
8. Purl 1 stitch.

Rick rack rib in the round - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

9. Skip the first stitch and insert the needle as if to knit in the second stitch on the left-hand needle. This can be a tad fiddly!

Rick rack rib in the round - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

10. Twist the right-hand needle so that is behind the left-hand needle and wrap the yarn around.

Rick rack rib in the round - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

11. Next pull the yarn through, but do not slip this stitch off the needle just yet!

Rick rack rib in the round - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

12. Knit the first stitch that you skipped in step 9….

Rick rack rib in the round - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

13. ….then slip both knitted stitches from the needle. The 2 knitted stitches combined in this round produce a right-slanting result!

Rick rack rib in the round - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

14. Repeat steps 8 to 13 to the end of the round. And this is how to knit rick rack rib in the round!

On the outside of the work, it will look something like this:

Rick rack rib in the round - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

In case your project ends with rick-rack rib, you can bind-off after row 2 by binding off in purl 1, knit 2 pattern.

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12 Apr

how to work the knit and garter stitch

by La Visch Designs

How to work the knit and garter stitch

In this post, I’m going to show you how the knit and garter stitch is worked. The knit stitch is the basis of most knitting stitches and therefore often the first one beginning knitters start with. When knitting a flat piece in the knit stitch only, you get a fabric in what’s called “garter stitch”. Usually, a piece knit in garter stitch will be shorter and wider than the same amount of stitches and rows worked in other types of stitches. Garter stitch has a wonderful texture, is very squishy and elastic and best of all: it lies flat when knitted back and forth! Truly a wonderful stitch to have in you knitter’s tool box

In this post, I’ll show you how to work both the basic knit stitch and the ins and outs of garter stitch when worked back and forth (flat). Working garter stitch in the round also involves purling and will, therefore, be addressed in a different post.

Working the knit and garter stitch back and forth step by step

1. I’m starting with a number of stitches already cast on. What you see here, is done with the knitted on cast on.

How to work the knit and garter stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. To start, take your second needle and insert the tip into the stitch with the needle under your main needle. Insert at an angle so your needles cross as pictured.

How to work the knit and garter stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. Hold the crossed needles together, take the yarn connected to your ball and wrap it around the bottom needle. Begin by going around, and then over. Depending on your knitting style this can be done with either your left or your right hand. The end result is however always the yarn wrapped around the needle as pictured.

How to work the knit and garter stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Take the bottom needle and bring it back through the stitch pulling the yarn with it.

How to work the knit and garter stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. Now slide of the original stitch you inserted your needle in (step 2) and tighten the yarn a bit. In the above picture, you see the original stitch on the right of the second needle. You have now knit a knit a stitch!

How to work the knit and garter stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

6. Repeat steps 2-5 until you’ve worked all stitches on your main needle. The second needle which now has all the stitches on it looks something like this:

How to work the knit and garter stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

7. Now switch the knitting needles around: the needle containing all the stitches becomes the main needle and the empty one becomes the second needle. I know I could also call them the left-hand and right-hand needles, but this could become confusing for those holding their needles differently.

How to work the knit and garter stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

8. Make sure your yarn is behind the needle and again follow steps 2-5 until you’ve worked all stitches on your main needle. The second needle now again has all the stitches on it:

How to work the knit and garter stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

9. When switching needles again, you can now see the characteristic ridges of garter stitch starting to emerge:

How to work the knit and garter stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

10. When I’ve knitted a couple of more rows we have a small swatch of garter stitch fabric! And this is how to work the knit and garter stitch.

How to work the knit and garter stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Tips & tricks

  • Garter stitch comes out in ridges and each ridge is 2 rows. To know how many rows you’ve knit you can just count the ridges and then double the number.
  • Garter stitch looks the same on both right side (RS) and wrong side (WS) rows. There is, however, a trick to determine what side you are: Did you see in the picture with step 1 above where the yarn tail from casting on was? With the first row, I knit (which is usually called the RS) the yarn tail was on the bottom left. This means that every time I have my knitting on the main needle and the yarn tail is on the bottom left, I’m about to knit a RS row. You can of course also use a stitch marker or safety pin to see easily which side is what.
  • In this tutorial, I showed you how to work garter stitch by working knit stitches on every row. By purling every row, however, you also get garter stitch!
  • If you want to work in multiple colors, you should know that in garter stitch, if you switch colors on a right side row, there will be a line across the wrong side where you can see the loops of stitches connecting. This can, of course, be a design feature. If you don’t want this line visible, make sure to start the new color with the RS facing.

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29 Mar

the knitted on cast-on

Knitting the knitted on cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

The knitted on cast-on is a very strong and reasonably stretchy cast on to start your knitting project with. It’s the cast on I use most often because it is just so easy to do. Personally, I wouldn’t use it for a knitting project that would be blocked heavily. For all other applications, though, it makes a very nice edge. Think for example of edges of garments, non-lace blankets etc.

This particular method is also great for the beginner knitter because it is basically the knit stitch that is used to cast on. In this post, I’ll show you how to do it!

The knitted on cast-on step by step

1. Take a length of yarn from your ball of yarn.

Knitting the knitted on cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Make a slip knot….

Knitting the knitted on cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. ….and insert the needle into the upper loop and tighten the slip knot onto the needle. This is the first stitch. Make sure to leave enough on the tail of the yarn to weave in later.

It is also possible not to use a slip knot and just loop the yarn around the needle for your first stitch, thus avoiding the knit in the corner of your work. For the sake of this tutorial, however, I’m going with the slip knot version.

Knitting the knitted on cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Take your second needle and insert the tip into the stitch with the needle under your main needle. Insert at an angle so your needles cross as pictured.

Knitting the knitted on cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

5. Hold the crossed needles together, take the yarn connected to your ball and wrap it around the bottom needle: go around, and then over. Depending on your knitting style this can be done with either your left or your right hand. The end result is however always the yarn wrapped around the needle as pictured.

Knitting the knitted on cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

6. Take the bottom needle and bring it back through the stitch pulling the yarn with it in a loop.

Knitting the knitted on cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

7. Now transfer the new loop from the bottom needle to the other needle and tighten the yarn. You have now cast on a stitch!

Knitting the knitted on cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

8. Repeat steps 4-7 until you have reached the desired amount of stitches on your needle.

Knitting the knitted on cast-on - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

And that is all there is to it! The knitted on cast-on looks like this after a few more stitches have been cast on.

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18 Jan

dyeing with natural dyes: part 4 – dyeing!

Dyeing yarn with natural dyes - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

This post is part 4 in a series in which I tell you all about what is involved in dyeing wool with natural dyes. In the previous steps, we have already washed our wool, mordanted the yarn and prepared our dye bath. Now it is finally time to dye!

The steps to go through are as follows:

a. Washing the wool
b. Mordanting
c. Preparing the dye
d. Dyeing your wool

As with mordanting, you can dye either warm or cold. The end result may differ between the two methods, it is a matter of experimentation to see what you like best. The advantage of hot dyeing is, of course, that it is relatively fast. After about an hour in the hot dye bath you’ve already got result. However, it also uses much more energy. That’s why I’m using the cold dyeing method in this example.

d. Dyeing yarn!

1. In the case your mordanted yarn is dry, you have to soak it first in water again. In wet wool dye distributes itself much more uniformly. About half an hour of soaking is usually enough. If the wool is still slightly wet, you can skip to step 2. If you intent to have a more random coverage, than by all means do not pre-soak your yarn of course! Freedom in variations is one of the nice things about dyeing yarn yourself.

Dyeing yarn with natural dyes - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Put the mordanted wool in the pot or pots with the dye bath. Fill if necessary with a little water to completely cover the wool. Stir gently if necessary to get the wool well into the dye bath.

Dyeing yarn with natural dyes - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. Let the wool soak about 24 hours (or longer if desired) in the dye bath. An hour more or less does not matter very much. You can dye your skeins of wool in varying tints of the same color, by removing them after different numbers of hours in the dye bath.

Dyeing yarn with natural dyes - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. I have removed my skeins of wool after respectively 12, 16, 20 and 24 hours in the dye bath to see how the differences turn out. On the left is 12-hour in the dye bath, on the right is at the 24 hour mark.

Dyeing yarn with natural dyes - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Rinse the wool off with lukewarm water, add a dash of vinegar kitchen to fix the color. Rinse as long as necessary until the water runs clear. Remember to put on rubber gloves, if you do not want to stain your hands!

5. Then you can squeeze the water out of the dyed wool and hang to dry.

Dyeing yarn with natural dyes - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

And this is how my wool looks like after it has completely dried up:

Dyeing yarn with natural dyes - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

As you can see there is a difference between 12 and 24 hours in the dye bath. However, four hours between the skeins is apparently too short to see a lot of difference between successive skeins. Learned something!

The second dye bath

The above coral pink color I obtained by allowing my wool to soak in the first extract of the madder, the so-called first dye bath. To see if more pink shades were possible, I made a new dye bath containing the same madder by soaking them again for one day. In this dye batch I then soaked another mordanted skein of wool for 24 hours. And this lovely blush-colored yarn was the result:

Dyeing yarn with natural dyes - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Lots of fun to dye with plant-based dyes! I will definitely do this more often and am already saving up onion skins for my next natural dye project!

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04 Jan

dyeing with natural dyes: part 2 – mordanting

Dyeing with natural dyes - mordanting, a tutorial by La Visch Designs

This post about mordanting your fiber is part 2 in a series in which I tell you all about what is involved in dyeing wool with natural dyes. I guide you through the various steps and take you along with a natural dye experiment.

The steps to go through are as follows:

a. Washing the wool
b. Mordanting
c. Preparing the dye
d. Dyeing your wool

Today we are going to mordant the wool we washed in the previous step.

b. Mordanting

Mordanting of the wool is usually required with natural dyeing to ensure that the wool fibers are all opened up so that the dye can penetrate into the fiber. Without mordanting the dye adheres less well and the resulting color is less bright and colorfast.
There are several possible mordants: alum (potassium aluminum sulfate), chrome (potassium dichromate), copper sulfate, iron (ferrous sulfate), and tin (stannous chloride).

Each mordant has a different effect on the outcome of the dyeing process. Iron for example will “sadden” or darken colors, bringing out the green shades. Because alum is, when compared to the others, much less polluting and releases no harmful vapors during processing, I use it in this step-by-step guide.

1. The amount of mordanting agent to use depends on the quantity of wool that you want to dye. Typically, alum is used between 8% and 20% of the weight of the wool (dry weight!). I start at 15% and have 200 g of wool, therefore I use 30 g alum. (I know that the photograph shows 31 g, have corrected the weight after making the picture!)

Dyeing with natural dyes - mordanting, a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Tartaric acid (“cream of tartar”) is sometimes used as an additive when mordanting with alum. As I understand it, it can brighten the colors. Use at approx. 7% of the weight of fiber together with 8% alum. In this example, I however do not use it.

2. Dissolve the alum (and, possibly, tartaric acid) in a glass jar or stainless steel pan of boiling water. Use enough water to fully submerge your amount of wool.

Dyeing with natural dyes - mordanting, a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. Add the wet wool to the pot. This may be immediately after washing. If your wool has dried between washing and mordanting, let it soak in water for about half an hour first. Adding dry wool to a mordanting or dye bath may cause streaks in your fiber.

Dyeing with natural dyes - mordanting, a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Many instructions for dyeing wool indicate to keep it all warm at the simmering point for more than an hour. That may indeed be the case, but you can also get good results if you let it cool completely and then allow to stand overnight. This cold mordanting takes more time, but much less energy and therefore has my preference.

4. After mordanting, the wool must be rinsed.

mordanting_4

5. Next you can directly proceed to dyeing the wool, or (if the timing is not quite right) hang your wool to dry. Once mordanted and dried, simply store the wool until you are ready to dye.

Dyeing with natural dyes - mordanting, a tutorial by La Visch Designs

Now it is time to proceed to the next step: preparing your dye bath. More on this in my next post!

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14 Dec

tutorial: knitting the loopy bind-off

Knitting the loopy bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

In this post I want to show you a variation of the i-cord BO: the loopy bind-off. With a regular i-cord BO you work directly over all stitches, binding them off. With the loopy bind-off loops of i-cord are made in between the stitches that are to be bound off. This does not only give a highly decorative edge, but is also a very elastic finishing. For this reason, this would be a nice BO to use on items like shawls, that have to be blocked quite aggressively for the best results.

Similar to regular i-cord (click here for the post about it!), this stitch can be knit over 3, 4 or 5 stitches. The more stitches, the fatter the resulting i-cord will be. The number of stitches also affects the loops in this bind-off: if you want to knit the i-cord for the loops over 3 stitches, you will need a multiple of 3 stitches to bind-off + that number minus 1 (ie 2 in this case).

Knitting the loopy bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

To knit the loopy bind-off, you need a set of knitting needles, plus one extra needle in the same size. It can be worked on both the good and the wrong side of the work. In this example I’m binding off a small swatch in garter stitch.

The loopy bind-off step by step

1. Use the first 3 stitches on the left needle to knit regular i-cord. You can decide how long to make the cord, as long as it is equal for all loops. In this example I made cord with a length of 3.5 cm, which was 10 rows.

Knitting the loopy bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

2. Next, hold the needle with the i-cord stitches parallel to the needle with the stitches to be bound off:

Knitting the loopy bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

3. Insert the third needle into the first stitch on the front needle, then immediately also into the first stitch of the back needle. Wind the yarn around the needle as usual, pull the yarn through both stitches and then slip off the first stitch of both the front and back needle. This is really very similar to working a three-needle BO.

Knitting the loopy bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

Knitting the loopy bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

4. Repeat step 3 twice.

Knitting the loopy bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

5. Next, slip the 3 newly knitted stitching back to the left hand needle.

Knitting the loopy bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

6. Repeat steps 1 to 5 until 3 stitches remain on the left hand needle. Next, repeat steps 1 and 2 once more.

Knitting the loopy bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

7. Work step 3 twice, you now have 2 stitches on the right hand needle.

Knitting the loopy bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

8. Pass the first stitch over the second stitch, you now have 1 stitch remaining on the right hand needle.

Knitting the loopy bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

9. Repeat step 3 once more, followed by 1 repetition of step 8. All stitches are now cast off, you can now cut the yarn and pull the tail through the last loop.

Knitting the loopy bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

This is how the the loopy bind-off edge will look like on the right side of the work:

Knitting the loopy bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

And this is how it looks on the wrong side of the work:

Knitting the loopy bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

Depending on the desired effect you can use either the right or wrong side of this bind-off.

And that is all there is to it!

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16 Nov

tutorial: knitting a bobble bind-off

Bobble bind-off tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

In a previous blog I’ve already shown you how to cast on your knitting project with decorative bobbles. Of course we also want to know how to knit the matching bobble bind-off. You never know when it comes in handy!

There are many different types of bobbles possible for this application. However, you want a reasonably “fat” bobble for the best result, because these makes the bobble “pop” better.

In short an instruction for such a bobble would will be as follows:

Bobble of 5 stitches: Work [k1, yo, k1 , yo, k1] all in the same st. Turn work, p1, p1 tbl, p1, p1 tbl, p1. Turn and k5. Turn work, and p5. Turn work, k5, * pass second st on the right hand needle over the first stitch; rep from * until 1 st remains – 1 bobble made.

Below I’ll show you step by step how this looks when used at the bind-off edge of your knitting.

Knitting a bobble bind-off step by step

1. Your project is ready and you want to bind-off. First of all, make sure you’re using a multiple of 4+1 stitches plus any edge stitches. In this example I’m using a multiple of 4 + 1 + 2×2 edge stitches for both sides of the work. The 4 stitches consist of 1 stitch for every bobble and 3 stitches distance between each bobble.

Bobble bind-off tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

2. Make sure you are on the right side of the work and knit 2 stitches. Next pass the second stitch on the right-hand needle over the first stitch to cast it off.

Bobble bind-off tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

3.In the next stitch we will be making a bobble as follows: Work [k1, yo, k1 , yo, k1] all in the next stitch, without sliding it off prematurely. You now have 6 stitches on the right hand needle, we will knit the bobble over 5 of them.

Bobble bind-off tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

4. Turn work, p1, p1 tbl, p1, p1 tbl, p1. The “p tbl” stitches are worked that way to close up the yo’s of the previous row. This will make the resulting bobble smoother, this may require some practice!

Bobble bind-off tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

5. Turn work and knit 5 stitches.

Bobble bind-off tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

6. Turn work and purl 5 stitches.

Bobble bind-off tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

7. Turn work again and knit 5 stitches.

Bobble bind-off tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

8. Now pass the second stitch on the right hand needle over the first stitch, repeat this until only 1 of the 5 bobble stitches remains. You have now created one bobble! You can push it out a bit to the right side of the work to show it to its best advantage. There are now only 2 stitches left on your right hand needle.

Bobble bind-off tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

9. Next pass the second stitch on the right-hand needle over the first stitch to cast it off.

Bobble bind-off tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

10. Knit one stitch and again pass the second stitch on the right-hand needle over the first stitch to cast it off. Repeat two more times to bind off 3 stitches in total.

Bobble bind-off tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

11. Repeat steps 3 to 10 until 3 stitches on the left-hand needle remain.

Bobble bind-off tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

12. Repeat steps 3 to 9 once more to knit the last bobble and end with binding off the 2 edge stitches.

Bobble bind-off tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

And this is how the bobble bind-off is done!

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02 Nov

tutorial: knitting a bobble cast-on

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

In the series of decorative ways to cast-on a knitting project, I present here the bobble cast-on method. You’re probably already familiar with bobbles as a way to give an interesting 3D texture to your knitting. I used it myself for that purpose in my Moerbei shawl design. It is also possible to make bobbles right on the cast-on edge. Officially, the bobble cast-on is not a “real” cast-on method, because you already cast-on and knit a row before you start the actual bobbles. However, this should not spoil the fun!

To be honest, the only difference between regular bobbles and the bobbles with a bobble cast-on, is that they are knit on the edge of the work. There are many different types of bobbles possible for this application, however, you want a reasonably “fat” bobble for the best result.

In short an instruction for such a bobble would be as follows:

Bobble of 5 stitches: Work [k1, yo, k1 , yo, k1] all in the same st. Turn work, p1, p1 tbl, p1, p1 tbl, p1. Turn and k5. Turn work, and p5. Turn work, k5, * pass second st on the right hand needle over the first stitch; rep from * until 1 st remains – 1 bobble made.

Below I’ll show you step by step how this looks when used at the cast-on edge of your knitting.

Knitting a bobble cast-on step by step

1. Cast-on the required number of stitches, here I used a multiple of 4 + 1 + 2×2 edge stitches for both sides of the work. The 4 stitches consist of 1 stitch for every bobble and 3 stitches distance between each bobble. To cast-on I used the knitted-on method, but any other method would work.

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

2. Purl 1 row and turn the work.

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

3. Knit 2 stitches for the edge to the side.

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

4. Work [k1, yo, k1 , yo, k1] all in the next stitch, without sliding it off prematurely. You now have 7 stitches on the right hand needle, we will knit the bobble over 5 of them.

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

5. Turn work, p1, p1 tbl, p1, p1 tbl, p1. The “p tbl” stitches are worked to close up the yo’s of the previous row. This will make the outside surface of the resulting bobble smoother, this may require some practice!

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

6. Again turn your work and knit 5 stitches.

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

7. Next, turn work and purl 5 stitches.

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

8. Turn work again and knit 5 stitches.

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

9. Now pass the second stitch on the right hand needle over the first stitch, repeat this until only 1 of the 5 bobble stitches remains. There are now only 3 stitches left on your right hand needle. You have now created one bobble! You can push it out a bit to the right side of the work to show it to its best advantage.

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

10. Next knit the 3 stitches which I had chosen as the distance between the bobbles.

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

11. Repeat steps 4 to 10 until only 3 stitches remain on the left hand needle.

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

12. Repeat steps 4 to 9 once more for the last bobble and finish with knit 2 for the second set of edge stitches.

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

With this your bobble cast-on is finished!

This is how it looks after a few more rows in stockinette have been knit.

Bobble cast-on tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

Pretty, isn’t it?

Stay tuned for the tutorial on the matching bobble bind-off!

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